Simpson v. Island View Sales Corp.

Decision Date24 August 1976
Docket NumberNo. 9982,9982
Citation540 S.W.2d 624
PartiesEdna F. SIMPSON, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. The ISLAND VIEW SALES CORPORATION et al., Defendants, Henry B. Hart, Defendant-Appellant.
CourtMissouri Court of Appeals

Dale H. Close, Wood & Close, Lebanon, for plaintiff-respondent.

William Icenogle, Camdenton, for defendant-appellant.

Before STONE, P.J., and HOGAN and TITUS, JJ.


Plaintiff sued to quiet title to certain Camden County real estate. All defendants, save Hart, defaulted. Hart (hereinafter defendant) answered averring, inter alia, that a recorded deed purportedly executed by him and delivered to a granteegrantor in plaintiff's alleged chain of title was a forgery and thus void. Based upon her chain of title, the court nisi found plaintiff to be the owner of the real estate and defendant appealed.

Defendant's two points relied on are that the trial court erred in quieting title in plaintiff because (1) defendant 'sustained his burden of establishing that the deed in question was a forgery,' and because (2) 'the deed from (defendant) to (plaintiff's predecessor) contains such an indefinite description as to make the deed void.'

Rule 84.04(d), V.A.M.R., specifies that the 'points relied on shall state briefly and concisely what actions or rulings of the court are sought to be reviewed and wherein and why they are claimed to be erroneous.' The requirements of the rule are mandatory and applicable to court-tried cases. Dors v. Wulff, 522 S.W.2d 325, 326--327(4) (Mo.App.1975). Abstract statements do not sate the rule because they do not isolate any reasons wherein and why an appellant claims the actions or ruling of the trial court were erroneous, and an appellate court is not obliged to seek out the missing whereins and whys by threshing the transcript on appeal or the argument section of an appellant's brief. Matter of Estate of Langford, 529 S.W.2d 31, 32--33(4--6) (Mo.App.1975). Defendant's points relied on are unadulterated abstractions consisting of simple conclusions standing naked of factual recitations to afford an insight as to wherein and why it is claimed defendant's burden was sustained or the deed description was so defective as to make it void. State ex rel. State Highway Comm. v. Graeler, 527 S.W.2d 421, 425(4) (Mo.App.1975). Wherein and why defendant thinks his burden was sustained and the deed's description was indefinite is left for us to guess and ponder. And when points are not recognizable from an appellant's brief, courts are not willing to speculate. Butterbaugh v. Public Water Supply Dist. No. 12 of Jackson County, 512 S.W.2d 445, 447(6) (Mo.App.1974).

For many years the courts have sounded repeated caveats to appellants who ignore the rules relating to briefs by only salting them with abstractions (e.g., Scott v. Missouri Pac. R. Co., 333 Mo. 374, 389(14), 62 S.W.2d 834, 840(17, 18) (1933)), and nigh to 70 years ago Judge Lamm penned: 'The rules of appellate practice . . . are simple and plain. They fill no office of mere red tape, or as a show of surface routine. To the contrary, they have substance, and carry on their face the obvious purpose to aid appellate courts in getting at the right of a cause. Hence, apparently, they bespeak the dignity arising from obedience. If they are not to be obeyed, they should be done away with once and for all. A just rule, fairly interpreted and enforced, wrongs no man. Ostensibly enforced, but not, it necessarily wrongs some men viz., those who labor to obey it--the very ones it should not injure.' Sullivan v. Holbrook, 211 Mo. 99, 104, 109 S.W. 668, 670 (1908). While courts have long beseeched compliance with the rules amid hints of impending punishment for nonacquiescence, the practice more often was to suffer the transgression until the deluge of cases appealed threatened to overwhelm the appellate courts and forced them to declare, 'Enoug...

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11 cases
  • King's Estate, In re, s. KCD
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • October 2, 1978
    ...requirements of Rule 84.04(d), being merely an abstract statement, and preserves nothing for appellate review, Simpson v. Island View Sales Corp., 540 S.W.2d 624 (Mo.App.1976); Barber v. M.F.A. Milling Co., 536 S.W.2d 208 (Mo.App.1976); McCarty v. Donahue, 545 S.W.2d 359 (Mo.App.1976). That......
  • State ex rel. Miller v. McLeod
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • October 15, 1980 is grossly violative of the requirement of Rule 84.04(d)1 that points relied on be both brief and concise. Simpson v. Island View Sales Corp., 540 S.W.2d 624, 625 (Mo.App. 1976). Dismissal of Bessie's appeal would be justified on that ground alone under Rule In addition, there are other ......
  • Plaster v. Standley
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • July 26, 1978
    ...requirements of Rule 84.04(d), V.A.M.R., which are applicable to appellate review of court-tried cases. Simpson v. Island View Sales Corp., 540 S.W.2d 624, 625(1) (Mo.App.1976); Bell v. Bell, 538 S.W.2d 733, 735(2) (Mo.App.1976); Long v. Lincoln, 528 S.W.2d 512, 513(1) (Mo.App.1975). Althou......
  • Tripp v. Harryman
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • March 11, 1981
    ...requirements are applicable to court-tried cases. Plaster v. Standley, 569 S.W.2d 784, 787(2) (Mo.App.1978); Simpson v. Island View Sales Corp., 540 S.W.2d 624, 625(1) (Mo.App.1976). The point states the correct burden of proof borne by a plaintiff in an action for reformation (Leimkuehler ......
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